I’m not too fond of reptiles, but one that I have always liked is the chameleon. Despite its buggy eyes and scaly skin, the chameleon stands out to me because it possesses the ability to blend in with its surroundings. When threatened or put through a stressful ordeal, the chameleon can change its skin pattern to match that of its environment. As often as I may have tried, I always found it difficult to change my colors like the chameleon when exposed to unfamiliar situations. Thankfully, a Malleable Mentor of mine helped me realize that whether we like it or not, changing to fit our circumstances is something all us baby chameleons need to learn.
Are you serious??? I thought. This really isn’t happening, is it?
Dismally looking down at my class list for my senior year, I couldn’t deny that I was being faced with an unpleasant change. My original plan of taking an elective and the math class I wanted was not working out. Because of scheduling conflicts, I had to choose between a total change in all the classes I had planned to take and taking a math class two levels ahead of where I was. So much for the line-up of my dreams, I thought. What am I going to do now?
Leaving school that day, just a couple of weeks before the end of my junior year, I couldn’t help but feel the summer gods had gypped me of a real welcome to Relaxation 101. Instead of figuring out which days to go to the beach or hang out with friends, I’m going to be thinking about school, school, and MORE school! I thought. Oh deities of beach balls and sunscreen, haven’t I paid you enough tribute this school year?
All that evening I fretted about what I was going to decide. I called my friends, talked to my parents, and looked to every source of inspiration I could find for guidance. Having left no rock unturned, I finally made the decision to take the advanced math course. This is not my ideal choice, but I figure at this point in my high school experience, it’s just what I’ve got to do, I thought. Now, maybe if I think this thought every minute for the next three months, I’ll feel better about my decision by next fall.
As much as I tried to ignore it, I felt uneasiness about my decision in the following days. One day, during lunch, I was so absorbed in my thoughts about my schedule, my decision, my inability to change my scales to blend in….
WHACK! Being the graceful young lady that I am, I oh-so-elegantly crashed into my MM while walking down a hallway. My tortoiseshell sunglasses toppled off my face on the ground, and I thought, at this rate, I won’t need to worry about next year, because I may not survive the rest of this one!
“I am so sorry, MM, are you okay?” I asked my friend.
“Geez, Abi, what have I ever done for you to knock me over?” my MM replied with a grin. “I’m only joking with you, I’m okay. But how are you? You look like you’ve got a lot on your mind.”
“Well, I do!” I told my MM. “You know the whole scheduling conflicts have really messed with what I had planned to do for next year. Now I’m signed up for a math class I’m not sure I can handle, and I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing or not.”
“Well, I haven’t had to deal with scheduling conflicts, but I think I know about dealing with changes that you don’t really expect or want,” my MM said. We started talking about the different changes my MM had encountered so far, like changes in my MM’s friend groups and the plans my MM had made for the future.
“Of everything I’ve learned from my experience, the most important thing is to know how to adapt to change. Sometimes things happen that we may not like, but we’ve just got to adjust,” my MM told me.
We’ve just got to adjust, I thought. If that’s the case, I better teach my inner chameleon how to change her scales J. “As much as I may not like it, I know you are right. With time, I’ll get used to my choice and move on. Thanks for the advice,” I told my MM that sunny day during the last week of my junior year.
Nearly nine months later, I understand the value of this lesson even more. My math class, although daunting at times, has been manageable for me, and my senior year has been more amazing than I could have ever imagined. With my MM’s lesson under my belt, I have practiced changing my colors to fit my circumstances, not only in making decisions about colleges and scholarships, but also in deciding how I want to live my life. Now, it has become easier for me to wear the once color that fits in all situations: happiness. J
Lesson Learned: When we encounter change in our life, we must learn to deal with it. Whether it is positive or negative, change is something we cannot avoid; our best bet to find happiness is adjusting to our surroundings and making the best of our situations. When at all possible, try to make your surroundings as comfortable for you as you can, but for those cases in which there isn’t too much you can do, pull a chameleon and blend in, my dears J.
Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react.- John Maxwell
The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn.- Author Unknown